There's no such thing as a perfect yoga practice or even a perfect yoga pose. For years, I was convinced, I could only become a yoga instructor if I was at the peak of my physical fitness, as flexible as elastic, a dedicated vegan, and had absolutely no vices. I looked upon my current instructors as if they could do no wrong; the epitome of health, wellness and wisdom. (Not long after this thought, I got to know my instructors on a personal level, realizing they are human too and there is no "perfect" yoga instructor as I thought in my mind. Some of the greatest instructors I have ever worked with started their journey as a way to overcome a personal battle, grief, a tragedy, addiction or as a last effort to change their current lifestyle.
Mr. Dali had it right all along, it is impossible to achieve perfection. We are individuals, therefore, each one of us has a unique body meaning we're going to have our own unique yoga practice. I learned fairly quickly that there is no room for self judgement or criticism in the practice of yoga. It doesn't matter how flexible I am or what crazy arm balance, twisty thing I can do without breaking a sweat and smiling perfectly for the camera. Instead, I found out about the development of a practice to improve my weaknesses and create balance in not only the physical body but emotional, mental and spiritual body as well. When I had this epiphany, I felt I just had to share it with anyone who would listen. So I enrolled in a yoga teacher training program in the summer of 2007 in Chandler, AZ.
I started my yoga practice in 2003 in Scottsdale, Arizona. I signed up for a power yoga class with absolutely no yoga experience, but I thought "Hey, I grew up in gymnastics, I got this." (Ummm.....I couldn't of been more wrong). I struggled my way through, sweating profusely, never in the same pose or correct side as the rest of the class, and suddenly forgetting my right arm from my left pinky toe. I was determined! I kept coming back with the intention of mastering power yoga and being the best in the class.
It was years before I realized I cannot master yoga. You are a student of the practice with an endless amount of knowledge to gain. It isn't a class where you receive a grade, instead it becomes a lifestyle. For me, the transformation moved slowly and subtlety, then one day, almost instantaneous, I began to notice my personal views and beliefs had changed. I developed more patience, tolerance, I was calmer, my worries and fears didn't seem to be as terrifying, my mind was clearer and I wasn't constantly on auto-pilot. As soon as the fog was somewhat lifted, I felt clarity soon to realize what I thought I knew about yoga, was really nothing at all.
Power Yoga and Vinyasa has always been one of the greatest loves of my life as well as an amazing and CHALLENGING way to workout feeling completely refreshed. Although, it wasn't until I discovered the practice of Yin Yoga when I stumbled on to my absolute passion, yin yoga. Not familiar with Yin? This style of yoga is much more passive, however, in many ways yin can be just as difficult as an intense hot yoga flow class. over the past 10 years, yin has become more mainstream in the west. (many studios do a variation of yin calling it "deep Stretch") The true form of yin yoga poses are held anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes, sometimes even longer. The postures are all seated and designed to MODERATELY stretch the connective tissue in the body. (JOINTS, ligaments, tendons, FASCIA).
Yin Yoga did something for me that I never thought was possible. It no longer became just a physical workout, instead it transformed into a more emotional, mental and spiritual practice. I have suffered from post PAR-TUM depression with both of my two boys, struggled with ANXIETY attacks ever since I was a young girl (I remember having my first one at the age of 5) as well as have been DIAGNOSED with bio-polar disorder and INSOMNIA. I have been on every medication under the sun (you name it, I'm sure it's been prescribed to me) and sometimes they worked and others......made life a little more colorful at times. It wasn't until i ACCIDENTALLY wondered into a yin yoga class that ever even imagine there was anything else out there beyond WESTERN medicine could help me slow down my thoughts enough to where my brain didn't feel as if was an sr-71 blackbird taking off during the cold war. I'm not saying, "quit taking you're meds and just start doing yoga." That is definatly not the answer.
Yoga has enhanced my life in more ways than I ever thought COULD exist. It started as a competition with myself to become a part of my everyday life. I thought If i could ACHIEVE "perfection" it meant accomplishments, ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, self-worth, respect, SUCCESS, wealth, power, fame, money, popularity.....ect., ect., ect., Then the world would be right, my life would be fulfilled and I would happy. sure, some of those things might make you feel better on the inside, maybe APPRECIATE life a little more or not take things for granted, as they should. However, when its all said and done, yoga has THOUGHT me that the only pure happiness can come from within, not through perfection.....and i didn't learn that from bench pressing.
the twizted yogi
Owner of The Twizted Yogi a private in-home yoga service.
Teach 5 classes at the studio: Gentleman's Yoga, Yoga for the Athlete, and Dynamic Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Taught up to 10 classes a week of hot yoga, both Deep Stretch and Vinyaga Flow
Taught up to 10 classes a week at only Inferred Heat Studio in Sprinfeild MO
· Yoga · In studio
· Yoga · In home